Name: Bed Bug
Bed bugs are small, with a flattened seed-like body shape, brownish in colour that can feed on warm blooded animals such as, dogs, cats, rodents, birds and unfortunately HUMANS too.
An adult female lays her eggs in secluded, often difficult to reach places, and can deposit a few eggs per day potentially depositing hundreds during her lifetime. The adult female must have a blood feed to lay her eggs. The eggs are tiny (dust spec in size) and sticky, therefore, not only are the eggs difficult to see, but, difficult to find and remove. Because of the sticky nature of the eggs, we can inadvertently “hitchhike” eggs to new dwellings.
Bed bug eggs will hatch in about one week. They visually look like miniature versions of an adult bed bug, but, without reproductive capabilities, called “immature nymphs”. The newly hatched nymph will be approximately the size of a pinhead and straw like in colour. The bed bug nymphs grow by a process of molting (shedding its skin) and will molt 5 times before reaching maturity. Between each molt the bed bug must have a blood feed. Since humans provide ideal indoor conditions, ie. 70-80F or 21-27C, for bed bugs to mature, the bed bug can reach maturity in as little as four to six weeks. The adult bed bug will be the approximate size of a small apple seed.
Bed bugs are adapted to survive and thrive, they are not going to go without a fight! They can persist months (potentially up to a year) without feeding, therefore, hoping to “starve out” an infestation is not very likely and probably impractical.
Typical signs of potential bed bugs:
1. Dark spotting and staining (bed bug excrement) on the mattress, bed sheets, bed frames, head boards, furniture etc.;
2. Shed skin from molting on mattresses;
3. Hatched or unhatched eggs (best seen with magnifying glass) found in hiding places;
4. In extreme infestations a “buggy” odour may be detected, however, if you have an extreme infestation you will probably have an easy visual of bed bugs at all immature to mature bed bug stages, eg. if you were to overturn a sofa used for sleeping;
5. Bed bug bites to arms, legs, face, neck, shoulders, back) or any exposed skin during sleep. (“Studies conducted in bed bug-infested apartments suggest about 30% of people do not react even when bitten repeatedly over time and there is still higher incidence of non-reactivity among the elderly”1); and
6. Visually see bed bugs (eggs, nymphs or adults) or catch a bed bug.
Comforting and not so comforting Knock Down Bug™ Facts:
1. Usually, bed bugs bite at night when you are sleeping……easy prey!;
2. Bed bugs like to hide close to where they get their “blood feed”;
3. Likelihood of bed bugs increases for those that travel;
4. Likelihood of bed bugs increases for those that purchase used furniture and mattresses;
5. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases;
6. The stress of living with bed bugs can have an emotional toll on the health and well being of many individuals;
7. Conventional insect repellents used for mosquitoes, ticks, mites, chiggers, etc. appear not to have an effect on bed bugs, therefore, spraying yourself with a DEET, or Picaridin based insect repellent will most likely not work;
8. Sleeping with your lights won’t work either…..at some point, you will need to sleep!;
9. Bed bugs are small, agile and flat so that they can easily crawl into cracks and crevices and move from room to room and floor to floor;
10. Excellent “hitchhikers” on clothes and peoples belongings;
11. There is absolutely no relationship between cleanliness and bed bugs! Even a person with a compulsive, obsessive cleaning disorder could have bed bugs.
Bed bugs shelter in a variety of dark locations, mostly close to where people sleep. This includes under mattresses, floorboards, carpets, behind paintings, skirting, in various cracks and crevices of walls, within bed frames and other furniture, and behind loose wallpaper. Bed bugs tend to stay in close contact with each other and heavy infestations are accompanied by a distinctive sweet sickly smell.
Bed bugs are obligatory hematophagous (bloodsucking) insects. Most species feed on humans only when other prey is unavailable. Bed bugs are attracted to their hosts primarily by carbon dioxide, secondarily by warmth, and also by certain chemicals. Although bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days.
Method of Travel:
1. Be aware that bed bugs and eggs can “hitchhike” on pets, on clothing and luggage, as well as people visiting from a source of infestation. Bed bugs, like roaches, are transferred by clothing, luggage, or a person’s body.
2. Check items, such as furniture or clothing, before bringing into your home.
3. Use the Knock Down™ Bed Bug Detective first response trap designed to identify and monitor potential bed bug infestations.
4. Place the Bed Bug Detective between your box spring and mattress at all 4 corners, in between couch cushions, or wherever bed bugs are suspected. Check periodically for captures.
5. If bed bugs are detected in the trap, perform the “steps to control” listed below, and utilize the Bed Bug Detective once more to ensure all bed bugs have been eliminated.
Steps to control:
1. Control is achieved by thoroughly cleaning bed linens, clothes, mattresses, blankets, pillows, etc.
2. To eliminate bed bugs, place the above items into the dryer on a high heat.
3. Use the Knock Down™ Bed Bug Killer on the bed bugs themselves and the surrounding area. Spray around your mattress lightly – particularly around seams and tufts – take the bed apart, and spray the bed frame and springs including all joints.
4. Multiple applications (over a 2 week period) may be needed to solve the problem.
5. Good, long lasting, low-toxic methods of insect control can be done with Knock Down™ Bed Bug Killer or other Knock Down products listed below.
Products to use: